H4 EAD: What You Need to Know in 2021

H4 EAD

 

The H4 visa is the dependent visas that attaches to the H1B visa. H1B visas are the most common nonimmigrant work visa available to professionals. Some H4 visa holders are eligible for EAD, an Employment Authorization Document.

 

In my practice, H1B families have posed similar questions about the nuances of the H4 EAD. I have collected these most “commonly asked questions” and compiled the answers for you.

 

In this guide, I will explain almost everything you need to know about the H4 EAD. If you have any questions, feel free to email me directly at Michael@AshooriLaw.com. I’m very responsive via email and I would be happy to help you.

 

Introduction:

 

 1. How do I apply and qualify for an H4 EAD?

 

  • Importance of an EAD

 

2. Is premium processing available for H4 EAD?

 

  • An Alternative to Premium Processing: Submit an Expedite Request

 

3. Can you pursue permanent residency as an H4 visa holder?

 

4. What are the chances of getting an H4 EAD revoked?

 

5. Conclusion

 

1. How do I apply and qualify for an H4 EAD?

 

Currently, only the dependent family of H1B beneficiaries with an approved I-140, can apply for EADs. An I-140 is an employment immigrant petition. An I-140 serves as the basis for an employment based green card. An approved I-140 also allows H1B holders and their dependents to work beyond the six-years normally imposed on the visa.

 

H4 status alone does not grant any working privilege. A valid Employment Authorization Document (EAD) is mandatory. This is different form an H1B, principal beneficiary. H1B holders can work with their status alone. They need not apply for an Employment Authorization Document.

 

Qualified H4s can apply for an EAD by submitting an I-765 application. Mail this in along with the necessary fees to USCIS.

 

Importance of an EAD

 

An employer who allows you to work without verifying your documents (such as your social security number and EAD) could be punished. This could come in the form of severe penalties by the Dept. of Labor, IRS, or other government agencies (such as law enforcement). Companies that participate in E-verify may have different requirements. Here, they should have different internal auditing rules and document collection standards. Yet, every employer is encouraged to act as if they will have an I-9 audit tomorrow.

 

Thus, do not jeopardize your immigration status and your employer’s business by not obtaining your EAD. You should have your EAD in hand before moving forward with employment.

 

2. Is premium processing available for H4 EAD?

 

Unfortunately, H4 EADs cannot be premium processed. USCIS rules have recently fluctuated for H1B premium processing availability. Although, this did not extend to H4 benefits. Therefore, as of today, you cannot premium process your H4 EAD.

 

An Alternative to Premium Processing: Submit an Expedite Request

 

Due to the lack of premium processing, consider submitting a USCIS expedite request.

What to do:

 

Step 1: Call USCIS and have your I-797 Receipt Number ready.

 

  • USCIS recommends calling after your I-765 has been pending for at least 75 days. Yet, under exigent circumstances, I have been able to submit this sooner. Be prepared to show the urgency as to why you qualify for an expedited EAD.

 

  • Avoid doing this through the online e-service platform. USCIS’ website will state that your case has not exceeded normal processing time. Therefore, it will bar you from submitting your request.

 

Step 2: Have evidence prepared as to why you are eligible for an expedite.

 

  • Here, the strongest form of evidence is the hardship to your employer. Your employer will need to show they will suffer if you are unable to work.

 

  • Prepare this evidence by submitting your employer’s detailed declaration. The declaration should state the type of work you perform and why it cannot be fulfilled by anyone else.

 

Step 3: After you have submitted your request via phone, prepare a follow up.

 

  • Pending on the merits of your request, USCIS may contact you. Here, they will ask you to submit additional evidence to support your expedited I-765. This is where your employer’s declaration, your statement, and any additional evidence you have, would be sent in.

 

Note that not USCIS will not honor all expedited requests. Nonetheless, communicate frequently with USCIS. Lastly, be prepared to collect strong evidence for your claim. We have seen EAD processing times increase significantly in the last three years. So, the expedite request tool is extremely helpful for our clients.

 

3. Can you pursue permanent residency as an H4 visa holder?

 

Yes, you can pursue permanent residency as an H4 holder.

 

If you qualify for an H4 EAD, your principal H1B holder has an approved I-140. Thus, you are likely on your way to residency anyways. Yet, maybe you would have a more favorable priority date on the visa bulletin. This could be due to your country of chargeability (birth). So, you should still explore obtaining your own I-140 approval.

 

Again, H1B dependents (H4s) are not allowed to obtain work authorization without the approved I-140. An I-140 is the employment-based petition that is filed to support the foreign national’s green card eligibility.

 

Fortunately, this is due to the “dual intent” doctrine. Here, H1B holders and their dependents are statutorily permitted to pursue permanent residency.

 

4. What are the chances of getting an H4 EAD revoked?

 

If you are on your way to adjusting status - the chances are high. In my practice, the most common termination of H4 EADs occurs when my clients apply for a green card. This is done through an adjustment of status (AOS) application. Adjustments of status are pursued through form I-485.

 

When filing your AOS application, you are likely in valid nonimmigrant status. Yet, you abandon your valid H4 EAD status upon submitting an application for an adjustment based EAD. Upon receiving this EAD working pursuant to this category, you abandon your H4 EAD. On form I-765, this AOS based EAD category is called (c)(9). Again, this is reserved for AOS pending applicants. When you begin working based on the (c)(9) authorization and category, your H4 EAD is revoked. While this is authorized pursuant to 8 CFR §274.12(c)(9), it is not consistent with H4 requirements.

 

Keep in mind that there is no mechanism to revert from the lack of valid nonimmigrant status to H4 status without exiting the United States.

 

There is a common misconception that those with pending adjustments are in valid nonimmigrant status. This is false. Simply because an adjustment applicant is authorized to remain in the United States and accept employment while the application is pending, this does not mean they have valid nonimmigrant status. Valid nonimmigrant status is defined by INA §101(a)(15). Here, you will find a list that does not include a pending adjustment application.

 

Those with pending AOS applications are defined as being in a “period of authorized stay.” This status is authorized and granted by the Attorney General. It must be distinguished from nonimmigrant status permitted by the Immigration and Nationality Act. Being in a “period of authorized stay” has similar privileges to valid nonimmigrant status. Yet, they are distinguishable pending on your individualized matter.

 

5. Conclusion

 

Remember, the H4 EAD does not need to be a complicated process. Know that I am happy to break down legal complexities to work with you and your family. If you have any questions in evaluating your case, please feel free to email me directly at Michael@AshooriLaw.com. I’m very responsive via email and I would be happy to help you.

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23:15 13 Dec 21
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Yousuf Dadi
22:41 13 Dec 21
The best lawyer ever!!! Mishael Ashoori is best choice. I recommend him as the best immigration lawyer I am happy with the service and the outcome.Efficient ,timely ,informative and friendly service his firm provides is impressive Highly recommend... .Micheal is wonderful attorney and his team respond me immediately when i need their help, I appreciate all that they have done for me.your consideration, guidance ,help and time. I appreciate Lahaina Araneta and James blunt for working on my case .read more
Tal Dror
23:20 10 Dec 21
I had a pretty complex situation after I messed up my first re-entry permit application and needed some professional help to sort things out and re-apply. I couldn't find a better firm to work with. Everyone - starting from the free consultation, to... the awesome attorneys and the superb paralegal team were absolutely amazing! Super nice, responsive, and professional. I got all my questions promptly answered, even on more general topics that didn't directly concern the application. Oh, and the fees are super reasonable too! I just got my application approved a few days ago thanks to them. Look no further, just go with Ashoori Law, satisfaction guaranteed.read more
ladan tabar
19:45 09 Dec 21
It has been a great pleasure working with Ashoori law. They have been very professional and took care of me like a family. I highly recommend them to anyone needing immigration help.
jimmy garcia
18:08 09 Dec 21
At Michael Ashoori office they helped me to get my re-entry permit, they are very professional responsable, they take good care of people, i recomend them 100%
Clarina He
01:25 07 Dec 21
The team at Ashoori law has been so helpful, attentive, and empathetic when it has come to helping my fianceé and I apply for a US visa! I couldn't ask for a more thoughtful team and we are so grateful we get to embark on this journey with Ashoori... law!read more
Nicole Baca
23:21 03 Dec 21
The team at Ashoori law has been from the beginning very responsive...most of the time responding to emails within minutes! Also very professional and knowledgeable. I can't recommend them enough. Thank you all for providing a great service.
Simone Malferrari
01:48 03 Dec 21
I personally had to change my status from the student vis (F-1)to E2,the Ashoori team walked me step by step through the process and was always available to answer my questions through phone calls and emails.Throughout the process I always felt I... could rely on their expertise and that the steps they were taking were in my best interest to achieve my goal of creating a business here in the US and be able to operate it in the best possible way.I absolutely recommend the Ashoori team!read more
Algirdas Laurinavicius
14:46 02 Dec 21
Thanks a lot Michael Ashoori. Everything went so smoothly and super fast. We are glad that we choose You. Definitely recommending to all our friends.
David Ham
04:56 23 Nov 21
Ashoori law is a Fantastic law firm, as soon as I signed on they got to work right away and they got our E2 approved in a timely matter and everything went very smoothly. Anytime I had questions they had the answer. I felt our case was in good... hands. The team is very responsive and knowledgeable, and they work hard to keep up to date with all the latest changes in immigration law. Highly recommend.read more
Raghavan VS
03:55 23 Nov 21
I would highly recommend Ashoori Law, they were able to assist with my case professionally and get the approval with out back and forth queries in first goThank you !
Alain Nangha
02:29 23 Nov 21
I don't like to write reviews because my English is poor but for Ashoori Law I have to.I have hired lawyers before but I surprise for the professionalism of Ashoori Team.After the consultation I did with Michael Ashoori I realized the knowledge of... the law , I hired him and just received 2 days ago 4 approvals letters from immigration for my kids.Thank you Michael Ashoori good job.read more
Peppe Öhman
15:01 20 Nov 21
Me and my husband immediately knew Ashoori Law was the law firm we wanted to help us with our green card application. The approach of this firm is friendly and professional. All our inquiries were answered rapidly and we felt very secure in out... journey to permanent residency.read more
Mohamed Zaghloul
02:39 20 Nov 21
I would like to thank Ashoori Law team for their great service. I highly recommend them, I had an excellent experience with this superb team. They are very attentive, responsive, friendly and professional. They provide outstanding service with... reasonable fees. Also, I follow Ashoori on TikTok and I learned a lot. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED !!!read more
Nigma Talib
22:35 17 Nov 21
Excellent service
Simon Holland
00:24 10 Nov 21
Had a great experience with the team from Ashoori Law from start to finish.
Kritika Shah
22:41 09 Nov 21
I had a very good experience with this law firm. I will definitely recommend this to my friends.
Akolom Gebreamlak
03:45 09 Nov 21
Friend of mine recommended for Ashoori law firm for my spouse adjust status application.All team members at Ahoori law firm are responsive and professional. My spouse application approved with their help. I recommend ashoori law firm anyone who... want apply any immigration application.read more
Winta Alem
18:29 08 Nov 21
Ashoori Law team went out of there way to show us they cared and give us the best service. So far Because of them my green card application process is going very well. I really recommend to anyone who is looking immigration process advice.
Heena Saini
18:11 08 Nov 21
They are very professional. I got my EAD card with the help of Michael on time. His team is really responsive and hard working. I was really worried about my application. But they made my life easier. Thank you. Highly recommended if anyone wants to... apply for adjustment of status.read more
Mohamed Gharib
17:52 08 Nov 21
I had the chance to work Ashoori Law office and team. They were able to help with my case in a very professional and efficient way. very grateful for their help.
Fazel Roustaei
06:04 07 Nov 21
Thank you Michael Ashoori to you and your team for your continued help with my adjustment of status application! I highly recommend Ashoori Law to any who need a great friendly team. Always honest and highly efficient and helpful. Definitely great... customer service and professionalism. Very precise, orderly and organized with a great platform to get the documents in. Thank you all again for your invaluable help!read more
Rahul Nair
21:16 06 Nov 21
Had an excellent experience dealing with Ashoori Law! Michael and the team made everything seamless + efficient without lots of back and forth. Thank you!
Peter lazarczyk
11:33 05 Nov 21
Ashoori law was available to answer any question or deal with any issues that came up. Their expertice in the process was a obvious and their knowledge of the system will achive your goals faster.
A A
03:20 05 Nov 21
Very good immigration lawyer and prompt services, highly recommended. I always love reading their newsletters and emails which have relevant info and helpful services. Definitely my go to immi team state side. Big ups Ashoori Team✊🙏 -... Anand ALread more
Flawless Stone
00:49 05 Nov 21
From the comments, I am giving 5 stars 🌟 ⭐🌟⭐🌟
Aida Walker
23:55 04 Nov 21
Thank you Ashoori Law! I got my reentry permit thanks to you.
Anthony Depatie
18:02 03 Nov 21
Ashoori Law were great, responsive, and attentive partners. Their intake and case management technology also made the process as seamless as immigration proceedings can be.
Van thang
01:19 30 Oct 21
They quick respond
Vw
18:17 28 Oct 21
Micheal and his team were extremely professional and responsive right from the get go as they walked us through the entire immigration process and handled everything in a timely manner. The most impressive thing was all the paperwork and... documentation was handled through their cloud platform which brought transparency and clarity to the whole process.read more
Bar B
18:43 27 Oct 21
Ashoori law has assisted and keeps assisting me in a proffessional manner ever since I first aproached them. To me, immigrations matters can be very complex and cause great distress, however my many questions and concerns are always addressed in a... timely manner. I have a few immigrations issues and having such a dedicated team backing me puts my mind at ease.read more
Travis Martin
03:10 26 Oct 21
Thank you!
Matt Grayson
17:52 25 Oct 21
I am greatly satisfied with the services provided by this law firm (marriage based green card). The responsiveness and accuracy of provided information exceeded my expectations. Thank you for your help.
Edmund Yang
01:29 21 Oct 21
Mr. Michael Ashoori. Thank you for your help. If I need any immigration service, I will definitely work with you. Your law firm and every staff member of your firm is professional and helpful. Your employees even helped solve some unrelated issues.... Highly recommend to your future clients.read more
Raveena Mathur
20:44 14 Oct 21
Ashoori Law is amazing! We collaborated with Jesser and I only have great things to share about the experience . Extremely accountable, humble and responsive work by him. Whole immigration process is hard but having him by our side was such a... blessing. Those difficult times with no answers, were made easier by Jesser. Would highly recommend:)read more
Ahmed Mohamed
02:37 14 Oct 21
I highly recommend Ashoori Law and the team that works there. Great and easy to work with, highly efficient and helpful. I will certainly continue to use their service.
Annette llanera
17:35 12 Oct 21
I like Ashoori law office because they are very good. They helped me with my papers to get my permanent residence card .All the staff were professional and responsible. Ashoori law office is very trustworthy and I highly recommend... this to my friends. A million thanks to all the staff and most of all to Michael Ashoori .God bless us..read more
Mufakhar Raza
19:46 11 Oct 21
They've been really helpful. Responded to all my questions and everything went really smooth so far. Strongly recommended!
Amit Patil
14:55 11 Oct 21
I am very happy with the service provided by Ashoori Law firm. I have processed my green card and employment authorization card from Ashoor Law. They are very professional and responsive.Throughout in my green card process Ashoori Law is very... cooperative, knowledgeable and supportive in the process. I really recommend Ashoori Law firm for the immigration law services.read more
Alannah Paul
18:12 10 Oct 21
Great experience with Ashoori Law. Very straight forward process and additional guidance provided when we needed it. Took me 5 months from application to interview for a spousal green card. Very pleased with the service and outcome!
Rijo Joy Kattukaran
16:51 10 Oct 21
My experience so far with Ashoori Law has been awesome. I was in a hurry as it was years of waiting, and then the turn came up quickly, I had to act fast, am very glad I made the decision to choose Ashoori Law. Right from the initial request for a... consultation, the entire team was very responsive, attentive, prompt, detailed oriented. They were very transparent, with their fees (which is very reasonable) and clear. Especially during this pandemic made it as much as they could easier for me through virtual online submissions as much as possible. Ashoori Law exhibited had prepared documentation which was very easy to fill in and complete. Special mention to Lahaina Araneta, who helped me with all my queries and I hardly had to wait more than a day for all those to be answered. Though my journey is still not yet complete, would use Ashoori Law for any of my future needs and also would recommend them for all who is looking for immigration needs. Again a big note of thanks for all your help.read more
ALI ALNASAR
21:26 08 Oct 21
They are quick to respond and answer any questions I have. The staff was friendly, helpful, and easy to understand. This is the most professional office I had dealt with!
Seann Farrell
01:36 08 Oct 21
Citizenship acquired from beginning to end in under 10 months. Professionally prepared paperwork, documentation easy to submit online, very pleased with the outcome. Without the professional services of Ashoori Law there's a good chance delays and... issues could have occurred. I recommend Ashoori if peace of mind is your goal.read more
Juliana Chen
21:30 04 Oct 21
My experience with Ashoori Law was excellent. The teams were very attentive, always there to help with any of my questions. Always quick to respond and deal with any of my concerns. They are very knowledgeable and professional. I couldn’t be more... pleased with the services that they provided to me. I would highly recommend Ashoori Law to anyone with legal needs.read more
amit singh
16:04 04 Oct 21
I had a consultation with Rohit today. He patiently listened to my case and questions and provided satisfactory responses to all. I am happy with the discussion. I may end up taking a paid consultation for more details. I would recommend them to... others as well. Thanks Rohit!read more
Ashish sinha
00:27 02 Oct 21
I reached Michel to get help on i765(L2 EAD) expedite request. He explained me the chances are slim yet filed the request on my behalf.They are just a message away and revert phone calls anytime. They try to explain every bit of your... case.Despite of my expedite request having a low chance of approval, I am glad that my case was picked it's all because Michel and his team prepared my case so well that I got the expedited request approved.I am so happy, kudos to Michel, venshkha, jaser.Ashish Sinharead more
Dina Ibrahem
22:56 01 Oct 21
I've been dealing with them for a year now, they helped me a lot, very professional and friendly! I am always comfortable taking their advices and consult them through my case and they never let me down. and most importantly is that they are very... humble and available literally any time i needed an advice or if I have any concerns.I also LOVE that they email me before any important appointment I would have, making sure that I receive the mails and always sending me soft copies just in case which is GREAT and they constantly keep reminding all the way till my appointment comes. I am still a client with them and very happy, Thanks to Vaneskha Wilson, Jeser Romero, Lahaina Araneta, Milena Manukyan, Elaine Leduna , Karla Samayoa and of course Michael Ashoori.read more
Sach Gill
19:39 30 Sep 21
Had a chat with Rohit Srinivasa. He is informative and possess good knowledge about the immigration related matters. Highly recommended.
Aniruddha Ghosh
16:53 30 Sep 21
Talked to Rohit Srinivasa from Ashoori Law. He is incredibly knowledgable about US immigration laws and is quite freindly. Highly recommended if you are a student on F-1 (OPT, STEM) or are looking to file H-1B.
Kristina Karalic
18:56 29 Sep 21
We accidentally found Ashoori Law online, but we're so happy we did because they have been nothing but outstanding! Ashoori Team has been helping us with multiple cases, including B, L visas and green cards. Their portal is very user friendly, and... their staff is always responsive, caring and detailed. I'd like to give a special shout-out to their Director of Legal Operations, Lahaina Araneta, who has been an absolute delight to work with. I am highly recommending Ashoori Law to anyone seeking immigration services!read more
Zulfa Sultana
18:18 29 Sep 21
I am glad I chose them. Above everything, they are friendly and work closely with you. Owner of the law firm himself is available to talk if needed. Highly recommending them.
Ahmad Jawid
01:45 28 Sep 21
Ashoori Law, Michael and his team are very professional , helpful and great people for their clients . i am very glad that i had Ashoori Law team for my paperworks . I recommend everyone Ashoori Law especially for Immigration purposes ask for... Michael .read more
Ariel 0054 Realty
01:43 28 Sep 21
Extremely professional teamWithout any doubt, they can handle with knowledge and expertise any caseYou are in good hands with them
Mittal Patel
20:29 27 Sep 21
Have worked with many immigration Lawyers. Ashoori law was very affordable and got back to me in timely manner. Made sure I was on time with my fillings and that we responded to our RFE with adequate info. Lahaina is one of their E2 lawyers and was... expert with these kinds of cases. Will hire them again for renewals.read more
Pragalath Mohandas
20:30 25 Sep 21
Amazing experience. Ashoori Law firm gave me hope and prepared a strong case & I got my E2 case approved in one week. I spoke to other immigration lawyers & i was not satisfied. its easy to communicate with everyone! I highly recommend them to... anyone looking to get immigration help!read more
bhakti savai
12:26 21 Sep 21
I had great experience with Ashoori Law. Professional, knowledgeable, responsive, client-centric, and timely! Highly recommended!
William & Heather Oon
01:17 20 Sep 21
We are grateful and thankful to Ashoori Law and its team. They are very understanding, patient, responsive with all our enquiries and prompt in providing updates to our status. We highly recommended their service.
Kaushik Kuila
19:43 17 Sep 21
I have used Michael Ashoori's Law Firm for my mother's Green Card processing. I have found them very professional and responsive along the way, answering all my queries in a timely manner. I'll readily use them for any immigrations needs in future.
Hyunwook Shin
07:45 10 Sep 21
Michael Ashoori and his firm helped us navigate the complex filing process, answer any questions we have with care, and eventually attain successful approvals. Highly recommended!
Sharon Shanaya
21:53 05 Sep 21
My case was a bit complicated due to my ex-husband and his family but this firm dealt with my I-485 case so nicely and professionally. I was given only 2 weeks to lodge my application due to my messy divorce. This firm made sure my case was filed... before my conditional green card expires. Got my green card in 5 months even during this Covid time when everything takes ages to process. I Will recommend them to anyone who is having difficulty with immigration. Absolutely the best. Don't waste ur time with other attorneys.read more
H. George
02:10 01 Sep 21
Very professional, they have a very good system to prepare your case and make proper follow ups.My case was a little bit complicated and other places they were taking advantage trying to charge me a lots of money but Michael never did... that.Recommending 100% best lawyer ever.read more
Linda Bradley
06:06 25 Aug 21
Very happy with your services 🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻
jarka sakacova
01:08 24 Jul 21
I have a very pleasant experience with Rohit from Ashoori Law , he was very patient, professional and had a strong knowledge and answered all my questions in detail. I would recommend highly to use Ashoori Law service.
samah elwakkad
15:36 23 Jul 21
I would like to thank Ahoori law office and all the team who was helping us to obtain our L1A approvalThis office Law is truly dedicated to clients, very responsive and professional, they helped me get through so many obstacles.Can't thank them... enough for their effortsIt's really amazing how they guide their clients until they achieve their goals.Thank you Michael for the amazing dedicated team and a special thanks for Lahaina who is really an amazing person and very knowledgeable and really helpful and supportive, also Christina who has helped me a lot through this.You're the best guysKeep it upread more
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Michael Ashoori Headshot

Michael Ashoori, Esq.

U.S. Immigration Lawyer

I’m a U.S. immigration lawyer and I help families, professionals, investors, and entrepreneurs get visas, green cards, and citizenship to the United States.

Since starting my law firm, I’ve helped hundreds of people from all over the world with their immigration needs. I’m very passionate, hard-working, and committed to my clients.

Got a question? Send me an email.